Now before you get all over me about fascism I'm using it in the common sense of tyranny. I'm not using it in the sense of Mussolini's actual political program although the difference is only in detail, not in kind.
With that out of the way let me quote some historians:
"Concentration of wealth is a natural result of concentration of ability, and recurs in history. The rate of concentration varies (other factors being equal) with the economic freedom permitted by morals and the law... democracy, allowing the most liberty, accelerates it. -- Will and Ariel DurantWhat brings all this to mind you ask? A discussion on the Netscape blog about how the middle class is getting screwed.
Every one on the board has an different idea of what is to be done. One fellow thinks there is too much corporate profit. I have a few things to say about Profit. Here is what I said at Netscape:
Without profits there is no money for investment.Next up says we shouldn't be satisfied with the scraps the rich throw us. We should just take what we want. Through government agency of course. Other wise it would be robbery. Can't have that. We need proper laws and they must be adhered to. Corporate profits must be fair and CEO salaries reasonable.
The higher the investment per worker the higher the wages.
What do you think the corporations are going to do with their record profits? Hide them in a mattress?
Even Marx said that if you want to build up capital, capitalism is the way to go.
Of course we should't be satisfied with scraps.I add:
The government should confiscate all wealth and use it for the common good.
Say hasn't that been tried before? The USSR I believe. I hear it is not working out so well for them. You don't hear much from those guys lately. I wonder why?
Every place this redistributionist crap has been tried overall economic performance declines.Next guy up says that profits must be fair (whatever that is) and the President of Dell makes too much money (227 million is claimed).
This is all pure envy. One of the deadly sins.
If I'm doing OK I do not give a damn if the rich are doing 100,000 times better.
The reason for the high CEO bonuses is that really good managers are hard to find. Tell you what though. If it so easy apply for the job. I'm sure the companies would be really glad to pay 1/2 as much for better talent.
Me? I don't like to manage groups of more than about 10.
No way I want the CEO's job. Too much grief. However, if you think you can do it, apply.
The complainers are usually ignorant of how difficult it is to do well in such a job.
I go after that:
Even unfair profits get invested.Next up says that heath care ought to be mandatory with a job. If a business can't offer health care it ought not be in business.
Really high profits attract vendors into a business. Which ultimately lowers prices. The higher the initial profits the faster the decline.
The high profits encourage risk taking. The more risk taking the faster technology advances.
Envy makes people want to kill the golden goose. Stupidity does the rest.
So if the Dell guy is making too much buy an HP or a Gateway. Or do what I did. Get a free working computer off the street. [I gave it to my daughter who uses it for school work. My readers helped me get a nice Gateway with their generous Donations.]
Who cares what the Dell guy makes? The question is: does he sell you merchandise you want to buy at a price you are willing to pay? If so, to the corporation he is worth every penny. Computers are a very hard business these days. Just brutal. It takes two years to develop a new model. Sales of that model last from 3 to 6 months. If you come in around 3 months of sales regularly you go broke. If you regularly get 6 mos. of sales from a model you get rich. Not much margin for error. The guy is worth every nickel.
You can have a choice. If the business you work at will not offer health care it is better if you don't have a job.Man, there is a LOT of ignorance out there.
Then we have the middle class is sliding into poverty and corporations do not pay enough taxes.
Median family income is $46K a year and rising.Think people. Think. I know it hurts, but try.
Some slide into poverty.
Corporations don't pay taxes. It is included in the price they charge you. Unless they go broke. In that case they still don't pay taxes.
Corporate taxes are a hidden tax on you.
In addition high corporate taxes drive jobs offshore. Pretty good idea, no?
Heck even Socialist Spain has lowered corporate taxes. Maybe they have real economists running the country? Perhaps they want to attract American Corporations?
We should lower all taxes as much as possible to attract rich people to America. Better if they spend their money here. Provides jobs for people
Another guy complains that you can't get ahead. And, a bunch of Wall Street guys are getting rich just trading paper.
The reality is if you want to get ahead invest in yourself. Get more educated. Start a business. To do that you have to turn off the TV and quit spending your time bitching on forums like this. However, I will grant that bitching is easier. [It can also be quite profitable given the size of the market, if you can find a way to sell it.]Which reminds me of Ouspensky who said "Some people get all their pleasures from negative emotions." A sorry way to live. You can't deny some people enjoy it.
The people who get ahead are risk takers.
Unwilling to take a risk? Then be satisfied.
Envy will make even the richest person unhappy.
Then we get the fanfare for the common man who is the real creator of all the wealth, so salaries should be capped.
It is the risk takers that create wealth.Then we get back to why CEOs are paid so much while the "real worker" on the production line is short changed.
The labor theory of value is unsound.
On top of that some people's labor is worth more than others.
When you are looking for a brain surgeon do you shop based on price? You cap the brain surgeon's income and he will fix fewer brains and raise prices accordingly. Is that a desirable outcome?
Brain work is harder than manual labor.Another guy wants restricions on how many homes a person can own and the elimination of the house rental market. To eliminate speculation in housing. Another fellow says you need to design the rules with special leeway for special cases. It is only fair. (man it sounds like these folks have a career waiting for them in the legislature)
Don't believe me? Then study an advanced economic text and get back to me.
Hey study a simple one. Milton and Rose Friedman's "Free To Choose" is a good place to start.
Don't like to read?
Watch the video: Free To Choose video. Its free.
Management is very difficult. If it was easy they would get paid less than the factory workers. Their price is strictly dependent on their scarcity. It is why gold is worth more than iron.
The best leeway is no restriction.I add in a little later:
When polititians control what is bought and sold the first thing bought and sold is polititians
So I guess you want to corrupt politics. This would be a very good move in that direction.
If we just had enough of the right laws we could create a perfect world, except for corruption and law violators.Well the thread goes on and on like these threads do.
The Soviets had a lot of those kinds of problems. Perfect laws. Rampant corruption.
Seems like they go hand in hand.
Here is a classic. I'm not paid enough and things cost too much. No doubt government needs to fix this.
Every one should not try to get as much as they can for their work and people should stop shopping for the lowest pricesWell you know who is wrecking it for everyone? The greed heads.
Where is the New Socialist Man when you need him?
OTOH maybe people should strike bargains - i.e. buyer and seller should buy and sell by mutual agreement.
Then government wouldn't need so many watchers and there would be fewer opportunities for corruption.
Buyers are greedy for a low price. Sellers are greedy for a high price.Then we come back to the general whine. Globalization is stealing our jobs.
You work them against each other. It checks and balances out.
If the commenter was not greedy for a low price when he buys he would have no bitch.
If he was not greedy for a higher price when he sells his labor he would have no bitch.
I see a lot of greed and envy on this thread. People not satisfied with what they are paid. People unhappy about the high prices of things they buy.
We can fix this by putting a gun (government) to people's heads.
Goods will cost less and salaries will be increased.
I think doubling salaries and halving the price of goods is about right.
Let's pass a law.
I remember when we had the same worries about Japan and Taiwan and South Korea.Well it goes on. I believe I have said more than enough on the subject for now.
Evidently they don't teach David Riccardo's theory of comparative advantage in economics schools any more.
Every one's output is some one else's input. Lowering costs improves economic performance. Lower cost paper means cheaper books. Cheaper books lower the cost of education. More education raises earning power. So should the publisher get his paper cheaper from China? Or the more expensive paper from America?
If you are a paper maker the answer is obvious. However, every one else in the chain of buyers and sellers is hurt.
The best thing to do is to buy from the lowest cost producer of adequate quality. This also improves our export position.
The publisher can sell more books around the world if he uses Chinese paper. Since the profit is higher on the books than on the paper we have a double net gain
Let me repeat. Every one's output is some one else's input.
Let me leave you with a final quote: John Wayne said, "Life is tough, and it's tougher when you're stupid."
Update: 09 Jan '07 1314z
Flopping Aces has a bit on what the Democrats are up to on the economic front.
Captain's Quarters talks about Arnie's new tax initiatives in California.
Cross Posted at Classical Values